Non-communicable disease (NCD) is a threat to the economy, Agriculture and Livestock minister Augustine Auga says.
And urged Solomon Islanders to grow more local foods to ensure they have balanced diets.
He said the rate of NCD in the country was disturbing.
Auga said this when he led a team from his ministry on Friday to visit communities engaged in backyard farming in Honiara.
“The facts coming from the Ministry of Health regarding the seriousness of NCD’s such as diabetes was disturbing,” he said.
“Diabetes was currently increasing at an alarming rate,” he added.
“We must change our lifestyles and what we eat before it becomes an epidemic.”
The minister added the economic threat this posed to the national economy is serious.
“This will entail huge medical cost and less productive population, because a good population will not be able to contribute to the economic activities.
“Health is everybody’s business and to have a healthy life, the nation has to have sufficient healthy and nutritious local foods.”
Reports from the Commonwealth Health stated that Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Solomon Islands accounted for an estimated 60 per cent of all mortality in 2008.
The most prevalent NCDs in Solomon Islands are cardiovascular diseases, which accounted for 29 per cent of total deaths across all age groups in 2008.
Non-communicable variants of respiratory diseases, cancers and diabetes contributed five per cent, ten per cent and four per cent to total mortality respectively (2008).
It was reported that in 2013 most of the beds within the National Referral Hospital was taken up by patients diagnosed with NCD’s.
By CHARLEY PIRINGI